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Urban Building Trends Rely on High-E Concrete

12/14/16 8:35 AM

If you live in or have passed through a major American city over the past half-decade, you’ve probably noticed the explosion of skyscrapers and high-rise apartment buildings gracing skylines across the United States. As young people continue to flood cities, tall buildings seek to make the best use of limited urban space, which presents unique engineering challenges to building designers and construction crews.

High-E concrete, originally created back in 2005, is emerging as a revolutionary building material that’s helping engineers design taller, stronger, sturdier structures.

High-E is a shorthand term for High-Elastic Modulus Concrete. The elastic modulus is a measure of how well an object will resist being deformed when force is applied. To use an everyday analogy, a couch cushion that gives way when sat upon has a lower elastic modulus, while a firm cushion that resists being squished has a higher elastic modulus.

High-E concrete is exceptionally stiff and strong, meaning engineers can design thinner columns and support beams for buildings without losing strength or stability. These qualities also mean skyscrapers created with High-E concrete will sway and creep less than those created with traditional building materials. For designers of tall buildings, “sway” refers to the sometimes-perceivable movement of tall buildings that workers on upper floors might feel. “Creep,” on the other hand, is the gradual shift of concrete out of its original, intended place.

Given High-E concrete’s ability to hold buildings steady, it’s no surprise that the material is popular in Chicago, where the Windy City’s legendary gusts put impressive strain on the city’s many skyscrapers and towers. Engineers are able to calculate the force of the winds that will affect different floors of a building and then mix specialized High-E blends of concrete that provide that section of the skyscraper with custom-tailored support. This means that a building made with High-E concrete may actually contain a variety of levels of elasticity.

Part of the strength of any concrete comes from curing. During curing, temperature and moisture levels must be carefully monitored and controlled to ensure that the final product is strong, even and free of cracks. MadgeTech, the New Hampshire data logger company, manufactures a variety of data loggers for concrete curing monitoring.

To stay up to date on industry news, be sure to follow MadgeTech on Twitter at @MadgeTech.

If you live in or have passed through a major American city over the past half-decade, you’ve probably noticed the explosion of skyscrapers and high-rise apartment buildings gracing skylines across the United States. As young people continue to flood cities, tall buildings seek to make the best use of limited urban space, which presents unique engineering challenges to building designers and construction crews.

High-E concrete, originally created back in 2005, is emerging as a revolutionary building material that’s helping engineers design taller, stronger, sturdier structures.

High-E is a shorthand term for High-Elastic Modulus Concrete. The elastic modulus is a measure of how well an object will resist being deformed when force is applied. To use an everyday analogy, a couch cushion that gives way when sat upon has a lower elastic modulus, while a firm cushion that resists being squished has a higher elastic modulus.

High-E concrete is exceptionally stiff and strong, meaning engineers can design thinner columns and support beams for buildings without losing strength or stability. These qualities also mean skyscrapers created with High-E concrete will sway and creep less than those created with traditional building materials. For designers of tall buildings, “sway” refers to the sometimes-perceivable movement of tall buildings that workers on upper floors might feel. “Creep,” on the other hand, is the gradual shift of concrete out of its original, intended place.

Given High-E concrete’s ability to hold buildings steady, it’s no surprise that the material is popular in Chicago, where the Windy City’s legendary gusts put impressive strain on the city’s many skyscrapers and towers. Engineers are able to calculate the force of the winds that will affect different floors of a building and then mix specialized High-E blends of concrete that provide that section of the skyscraper with custom-tailored support. This means that a building made with High-E concrete may actually contain a variety of levels of elasticity.

Part of the strength of any concrete comes from curing. During curing, temperature and moisture levels must be carefully monitored and controlled to ensure that the final product is strong, even and free of cracks. MadgeTech, the New Hampshire data logger company, manufactures a variety of data loggers for concrete curing monitoring.

To stay up to date on industry news, be sure to follow MadgeTech on Twitter at @MadgeTech.

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